Trump blasts Dem push to abolish ICE: 'Zero chance'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpImpeachment? Not so fast without missing element of criminal intent Feds say marijuana ties could prevent immigrants from getting US citizenship Trump approval drops to 2019 low after Mueller report's release: poll MORE on Saturday blasted the progressive push to abolish U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), praising the agency for its work to “liberate” towns from gang violence.

“The Democrats are making a strong push to abolish ICE, one of the smartest, toughest and most spirited law enforcement groups of men and women that I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “I have watched ICE liberate towns from the grasp of MS-13 & clean out the toughest of situations. They are great!”

"To the great and brave men and women of ICE, do not worry or lose your spirit," he wrote in a second tweet. "You are doing a fantastic job of keeping us safe by eradicating the worst criminal elements. So brave! The radical left Dems want you out. Next it will be all police. Zero chance, It will never happen!"

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Trump’s tweets come a few days after democratic socialist candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who ran on a platform calling for the elimination of ICE, beat 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) in a primary. 

Calls to abolish the agency have grown among progressives, activists and on social media amid criticism over Trump’s immigration policies, and the movement has begun to gain traction among lawmakers.

Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' Court orders EPA to make final decision on banning controversial pesticide Buttigieg says he wouldn't be opposed to having Phish play at his inauguration MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday became the first sitting senator to call for ICE to be abolished, saying it has become “a deportation force.” 

"I think you should separate out the criminal justice from the immigration issues," Gillibrand said. "I think you should reimagine ICE under a new agency, with a very different mission, and take those two missions out … you should get rid of it, start over, reimagine it and build something that actually works."

Sens. Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersResurfaced Buttigieg yearbook named him 'most likely to be president' On The Money: House Dem says marijuana banking bill will get vote in spring | Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers | US home construction slips in March | Uber gets B investment for self-driving cars Buttigieg joins striking Stop & Shop workers MORE (I-Vt.) and Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisFive former Obama ambassadors back Buttigieg Harris: Integrity of US justice system 'took a real blow' with Barr's actions Sanders announces first endorsements in South Carolina MORE (D-Calif.) have demanded that ICE be examined, but have stopped short of calling for its abolition. In the House, Rep. Mark PocanMark William PocanAppeals court rules House chaplain can reject secular prayers Dems counter portrait of discord Divided Dems look to regroup MORE (D-Wis.) introduced legislation to eliminate ICE, citing Trump’s handling of the agency.

ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal convictions have increased dramatically under the Trump administration. Those calling for the agency's abolition have said that ICE is being used to "terrorize" immigrant communities through raids and targeted arrests.